DoubleClick forms consumer-tracking unit

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Doubleclick reaches out to advertisers and agencies this week with new customized products to help track, target and analyze consumers.

The company is formally launching a business unit called Closed Loop Marketing Solutions with three products--a modified marketer/agency version of DoubleClick's DART ad-serving system for publishers; DataBank, which collects data on Web users to help marketers target ads; and a one-to-one ad targeting system called Boomerang.


The new group was organized about six weeks ago with 20 employees, half already at DoubleClick and half as new hires. So far, one advertiser and three agencies have begun using DART and DataBank, and seven marketers are using Boomerang, although executives declined to name the clients.

"We really see Closed Loop Marketing as getting closer to the goal of one-to-one marketing. Boomerang as a technology is breakthrough in being able to remarket one-to-one to customers," said Lee Nadler, director of global marketing for DoubleClick.

The second version of DART allows advertisers and agencies to centralize distribution of ads and generates a single report with consistent counting.

DoubleClick counts an impression as an ad served; although there is some debate in the industry whether an impression is an ad served (typically the content-site definition) or an ad that is viewed (typically the advertiser or agency point of view.)

David Rosenblatt, general manager of Closed Loop Marketing, said the new system standardizes the impression counts between agencies that use DART for advertisers and agencies, and the 3,800 sites that use DoubleClick's DART for publishers. Some of those that use DART include the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, International Data Group's network of sites, CBS, NBC and eBay.


DataBank, Mr. Rosenblatt said, lets advertisers collect data about consumers as they move around sites and click on ads in the DoubleClick network. The data can then be used to create campaigns, targeting products and positioning.


The final piece, Boomerang, is available at a premium price, much like a keyword buy, Mr. Rosenblatt said, although that price has not yet been set. Keyword buys can cost nearly $25 per thousand impressions more than run-of-site ad buys. Marketers and their agencies can use Boomerang to serve ads to sites anywhere in the DoubleClick network based on a customer's online behavior.

"Everybody is trying to come up with software that goes beyond just counts and clicks, said Drew Ianni, analyst with Jupiter Communications. "Obviously DoubleClick has an advantage because they operate a large network."

He added: "DoubleClick has always represented publishers, but this is a flip and now they're targeting advertisers. But at the end of the day, anything they do to enhance the advertiser side, also enhances the inventory of the publishers they represent."

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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